How do I submit photos for review?

Shutterstock is always looking for new content to add to our collection. Contributing images to Shutterstock is free and you will retain the copyright to your work.

Submitting photos to Shutterstock is simple.

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Photos that are submitted to Shutterstock must be of professional quality and each image will be evaluated by a reviewer. You can learn more about our review process here: How is content reviewed?

File types and sizes:

We accept JPEG and TIFF files that are at least 4 megapixels or larger. You will find more information on technical requirements here: What are the technical requirements for images?  

Step 1: Upload Your Content

Shutterstock offers two options for uploading your photos: via your web browser or via FTP.

JPEG and TIFF files under 50 megabytes can be uploaded directly from the Upload page in your account. Click on Upload at the top of your contributor account page and simply drag and drop files into the uploading window or select multiple files from your desktop.

Files over 50 megabytes must be uploaded via FTP. You can learn more about FTP uploading here: How do I upload content via FTP?

If you experience issues with uploading, check out the troubleshooting uploading errors guide.

Step 2: Tagging and Metadata

Once your photos have successfully uploaded you will need to enter titles (description), keywords, and categories. This information is known as metadata, and makes it possible for people to discover your photos. We’ve published some tips here: Title and Keyword Guidelines, Policies and Best Practices. Metadata can be added to multiple images at once by clicking the Multi-select option. 

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You can enter your own keywords, or select appropriate keywords from our keyword suggestions, which are automatically generated by our vision technology that finds images that are visually similar to the one you are submitting and suggests relevant and previously-successful keywords for you to choose from.

You can also add any of the following, if necessary:

Step 3: Submit Your Content

Once your content is ready, just click Submit to send it for review.  

If nothing happens after clicking Submit, it is most likely because your submission contains an error. The most common error is misspelled keywords, which are outlined in red. Learn more about correcting errors in the Content Editor.

If you are not quite ready to submit at this time, you can click Save in the top right of the Content Editor window and save your uploaded content for submission at a later time. You have up to 21 days to submit uploaded content for review. If you do not submit your work to us within that timeframe, it will automatically be deleted from our servers.

What happens next:

You will receive an automated email from Shutterstock confirming that we received your submission. Within a few hours your submitted content will appear in the Pending Approval section of the Contributor Dashboard.

Once your content has been reviewed, you will receive an automated email from Shutterstock, notifying you of which images have been approved into your portfolio. It may take up to 72 hours for newly approved content to show up in your portfolio.

Helpful links:

Get to know our Submission Guidelines
Here’s how to get started with your first batch
Read our 19 Common 'Newbie' Submission Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
Our guide to your first submission
ShutterTalk Live: Learn How to Prepare for Your First Photo Submission
What can I do if I disagree with a content review?

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